Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.
Welcome to CycleTexasBlog
The Cycle Texas Blog is the newest way to share our love of recreational biking throughout all areas of Texas. When it comes to your cardiovascular system or that burn in the leg muscles, the benefits of bicycling are obvious. But if that's all there was to it, the stationary bike in the gym would be fine.
There's truly nothing quite like the open road (pavement usually -- but dirt if you prefer) to serve your mind and body at the same time. If you've never done it before, you'll be surprised what you can see from the “saddle” that you'll miss when you're looking through a windshield. If you've just biked around town, you'll also be surprised at how accessible rural biking is, even to a novice or a young person.
Bike-riding, particularly through the vast Texas rural countryside can seem like a very solitary activity. Our goal here at Cycle Texas Blog is to bring a social aspect to bicycling. In the future will be be organizing regular rides, long-range excursions, meetups and other events to help Texas's bike enthusiasts of all skill and experience levels get the most out of the hobby.
Get more out of life. Cycle.
Cycling isn't my hobby. It's my inner peace.
Blazing your own personal trail is fun, but if you don't have time to just explore, a lot of work has gone into finding everything from a challenging technical ride to a slow family-funtime leisure route.
Here are just a couple places you might check out.
- Scenic maps and trips from Parker county
- City of San Antonio interactive map
- City of Austin map
- College Station map
- Trails and maps from the Dallas/Fort Worth area
- Austin bike share (B-cycle) station locations
- A great community resource for the Fredericksburg and the Hill Country area
- Find and plan your own route with RidewithGPS.com
City biking has its own dangers, but you should always be prepared to deal with the particular problems found out in the country. Traffic: It may be few and far between, but when a car comes up behind you it might not expect to encounter a bike or group of bikes. Stay safe by moving right and staying in single-file until the vehicle passes you. Look back quickly to let the driver know you are aware of them. And be sure to follow all traffic laws.
Darkness: Proper lighting is vitally important on roads that won't have streetlights, even if you don't plan to stay out late. Have the right reflectors for the front, back and sides along with battery-powered lighting.
Wildlife: Watch out for deer and smaller wildlife. When you see a deer standing in the road, give it plenty of room to get out of your way. Make noise if you can to give it plenty of warning. They will usually dart off the road, but beware of them getting confused and jumping into your path. If a deer is in motion, be aware that they often travel in groups.
Livestock: Yes, you might happen across an entire herd of cattle either on the road or along the side. It's best to approach slowly and leave plenty of room for them to maneuver. As with deer, cattle's reactions can be erratic, so always give them an escape route if they get spooked.
Cattle Guards: Riding safely over these metal grates in the road takes a little practice. Approach at a right angle to the bars. Make sure to slow down, but don't go so slow that you just bump along and lose your balance. If in doubt, get off your bike and carefully walk it over.
Water on the ground: Some country roads have crossings that flood regularly, particularly in the spring and summer time. If you've never crossed there before, we recommend walking your bike.
Water for you! Plan ahead and stay hydrated. If you can't plan out your route to include watering stations (including convenience stores that you know are open), be sure to bring along more water than you think you'll need. Trust us, it gets hot out there.
When in doubt, pedal it out.
The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single pedal.
Where to buy
Here's a quick list of places to buy your equipment. This is very far from being a complete list of the best bike stores in the state!
& News Sources
Your town probably has something similar, but one of the most active groups in Austin is the Social Cycling Austin group. You can search for them on Facebook. Bicycle Austin also has an active online forum.
Keep calm and bike On.
If you worried about falling off the bike,
you'd never get on.
How to Form a Bike-Riding Club
The social aspect of bike riding is appealing to many, especially when contrasted with the isolation of our cars. Bike-riding clubs can be formed to simply organize rides, come together for advocacy in non-bike-friendly cities or provide education. Or more serious riders can use a club to partner up for training rides leading up to a local race. A successful club will fill a need not currently met in your area.
You might start by talking to local shop owners and asking if you can use their shop to post a flier or if they will let you post a notice to their Facebook page or Twitter feed. From there, you can schedule a meetup and invite others to participate. Start with a scheduled regular ride and see who shows up. From there you can more formally organize your group or just keep it casual.
As your group grows you may need to handle finances and possibly provide benefits to your members such as organized bike repair clinics or loaner bicycles. Larger groups sponsor race teams or organize long rides that might include an overnight stay.
Groups may also want to enact rules or policies to make sure everyone can participate and have a good time. Here's 10 suggestions to start with.
Tips for Commuting
How do you justify an impulse purchase of the latest and greatest lightweight frame? By using your bike more, of course.
Ask for employer support: Many employers recognize that commuting by bike is an increasingly attractive choice to workers who are tired of traffic, car payments and being stuck in air conditioning all day. Suggest to your company that they provide showers, bike storage and other facilities – or even begin a tax-free reimbursement program that allows employers to offer up to $20 per month for bicycle maintenance.
Plan your route: A website and mobile app like Ride the City shows you the safest bike routes and crowd-sourced commuting information. Currently the site offers information on Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
Increase carrying capacity: Add to the utility of your bike by attaching a cargo net such as those made by TransIt.
“Claim the lane”: According to commutebybike.com, you should ride in the middle of the lane where you are more visible instead of on the sidewalk or far right.